Coderre and Marois downplay referendum, discuss Ville Marie roof
MONTREAL -- Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Quebec Premier Pauline Marois might not have much common ground but they could soon be creating some, literally, as the premier appeared open to the mayor's plan to build a roof over parts of the Ville Marie Expressway.
Coderre has been pitching the creation of a cover over the downtown trench, an idea which has not yet gained much traction due to the potential costs.
However Marois said that she'd consider the concept, while speaking at a press conference following a 45-minute meeting between the two political leaders Sunday,
Coderre also said that he has no interest in discussing the possibility of another referendum on sovereignty.
The staunch federalist and former Liberal MP says there are way more important things to worry about during the Quebec election campaign.
The mayor says his top priority for Montreal is the economy and he's hoping that's what the April 7 vote is about.
At the same news conference, Marois agreed the campaign shouldn't be centred on sovereignty, something the premier favours.
She accused provincial Liberal leader Phillipe Couillard of trying to make it a campaign issue.
Sovereignty isn't the only point on which Coderre and Marois disagree.
Coderre is also against the PQ's proposed charter of values, which would ban public employees from wearing religious headgear.
Despite their differences, both Coderre and Marois insisted they have a good working relationship.
Coderre said he's planning to meet with other party leaders during the campaign to spell out what's needed for Montreal.
When asked to take a position on the referendum debate, Coderre said he sided with his city.
"My flag is Montreal," he said.
"What Montrealers are talking about is the economy, so don't come here with an election about a referendum. We don't want one."